Flora, Titian

Flora, Titian
Flora, Titian

The Renaissance artist Tiziano Vecelli is one of the most outstanding artistic figures of all time and without a doubt, the best representative that the Venetian pictorial school could have had. Titian had a very long life (he was born in 1477 or 1490 and died in 1576) as well as a long artistic career thanks to which he bequeathed us a good number of works, all of them of excellent artistic quality. But if we had to highlight a specific theme within his production, it would undoubtedly be the representation of the female figureTitian's women are fleshy, voluptuous women, whose whitish incarnation draws the viewer's attention.


On this occasion, we will focus on a seemingly simple but extraordinarily beautiful canvas. It is an oil on canvas in a vertical format that measures about eighty centimeters in height and almost sixty-five in width. The work is exhibited in the Uffizi Gallery and it seems that it would date from the beginning of the 16th century, specifically from the year 1515; around this time the artist made some of the most outstanding portraits of him and also a series of canvases with female protagonists, among which the canvas of Flora stands out.

In reality, we cannot guarantee that it is a representation of the goddess of the first, or perhaps it is, but the canvas has a meaning that goes even further. In the foreground and cropped against a backgrounddark and neutral appears a very beautiful young woman dressed in a white camisole and crimson tunic. Her hair appears coarse and wavy and in her right hand she holds a bouquet of flowers.

It is precisely the ring that he wears on the ring finger of that hand -just as it appears on one of his most iconic pieces, the Venus of Urbino- what has made historians consider the possibility that it was a representation of the married woman, perhaps this would also explain why the camisole slides down one of her shoulders, practically showing us her chest while the other remains hidden, thus alluding to the two virtues of the married woman, voluptuousness and chastity. Other authors raise the possibility that she is a prostitute of the time who shows her charms to attract customers.

In the mid-seventeenth century the artist Pieter de Jode made a series of engravings inspired by Titian's canvas and whose title was Flora, hence the canvas was taken as a representation of the goddess.

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